Road Rash Reviews

PRISON WALLS: ABASHIRI PRISON I-III (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Review *****

Cert 15 | 267 mins | 1965

5 Star
The Start of a Long Journey.
Prolific Japanese filmmaker Teruo Ishii (Female Yakuza Tale, Gensen-Kan Inn) brings us Abashiri Prison. Based on the 1956 novel of the same name by Hajime Itō, Ishii wrote the script as a remake of the 1958 American film The Defiant Ones. This is the first recognized Yakuza film, starting a long-running series of films…more

THE VALIANT ONES [Zhong lie tu] (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Review *****

Cert 12 | 102 mins | 1975

5 Star
The Last of a Great Era.
Written and directed by famed Wuxia filmmaker King Hu (A Touch of Zen, Raining in the mountain) is this sword based action Tour de Force, which takes us back to the thirteenth Century, as the Chinese take on Japanese pirates. It is down to a Colonel and his retainers and a married couple to…more

PATHS OF GLORY (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review

Cert PG | 88 mins | 1957

5 Star
A Mountain out of an Ant Hill
This highly controversial Anti-War film was co-written and directed by Stanley Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket, The Killing), based on the novel of the same name by Humphrey Cobb (San Quentin). Kubrick made this film aged just twenty-eight, and he paints a vivid portrait of the futility of the slaughter…more

SAMURAI WOLF I & II (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray Review ****-

Cert 15 | 144 mins | 1966-67

4 Star
Death in Monochrome.
Eureka bring us two classic chambara productions from the late 1960s, from the genre’s master, writer/director Hideo Gosha (VIOLENT STREETS, Yakuza Ladies) who takes inspiration from the spaghetti western popular in the West at the time and puts his spin on the lone warrior fighting for the little people. In these two features, he makes great use of…more

The Fall of Ako Castle (AKA Swords of Vengeance) [Akô-jô danzetsu] (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Review ****-

Cert 15 | 159 mins | 1978

4 Star
Revenge is Best Served Cold.
From the annals of Japanese history, comes a story of loyalty and injustice that is remembered to this day. Taking place in the first years of the eighteenth century and affecting thousands of people and families. Directed by Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale, Fall Guy) who brings us all the tension and violence of the Samurai,…more

SAMURAI REINCARNATION [MAKAI TENSHŌ] (Masters of Cinema) Special Edition Blu-ray Review ****-

Cert 18 | 122 mins | 1981

4 Star
The Dead Are Out For Revenge.
From the writer/director that brought us classic genre defining films such as Tora! Tora! Tora! and Battle Royal, with Samurai Reincarnation he does it again in this fantasy horror. It has way out there ideas that tell the tale of the oppression and massacre of the Christian religion in the seventeenth century Japan. Crazy…more

REVENGE [ADAUCHI] (Masters of Cinema) Blu-ray Review ****-

Cert 15 | 104 mins | 1964

4 Star
Intense 18th Century Samurai’s
Japanese director Tadashi Imai (Mahiru no ankoku, Jun’ai monogatari) once again concentrates on the hardships in life. This time it is not so much the poor, but the struggles between Samurai hierarchy, with the difference between a noble house and one which is not so privileged, but just as proud. That is always a problem.
Our monochrome…more

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